For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, November 26, 2012

Trunk or Treat Fall Festival

James Bond...or is that Nolan?

A Christmas Present...Garrett

Rambo or Levi?

A cute pumpkin...Toby

Zombie Slayer...aka, Nate

Our Beautiful Butterfly..Mia

Our Annual "First Day of School"

Every year, as a family tradition, we start our homeschooling year with a bus ride. The kids get ready, take their backpacks and dad (the bus driver and principal) drives them to get breakfast. At their return we get first day of school pictures, and our homeschool officially begins for the year. This year they took a trip to get donuts, and the crew seemed happier to start school this year than ever before (must have been the sugar rush).
Mia was still "celebrating her birthday" and thought she needed her princess crown!

The School Bus

Here they come...Just how many are in that bus?!

Dad must have snuck a donut or two...the sugar is making him a bit hyper!

Mia turms 8!

Back in August, Little Miss turned 8 years old. We celebrated with a swim party that she had requested. We had private use of a pool at one of our local hotels. It was a very enjoyable day filled with lots of splashing, excitement and laughter. I would say that our very excited little girl had a great birthday!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Our Beach Vacation

About Mid-August,we had the opportunity to take a family vacation to Ft.Morgan Beach (Alabama). It turned into a fabulous vacation, and we had the extreme pleasure of sharing it with family, some by biology, and some by God's design. One of the many blessings of being an adoption family is the people that God draws you close to and gives you the honor of sharing this journey. Many years ago, we met a wonderful family that has been such a major support to us, and over the years we have shared many of the trials and joys of life. In fact, we considered them just part of our extended family!  We convinced them to share vacation time with us, and we were so priveleged to have this time together. Brad's sister and her three girls joined us to make the time even more special. In total, we had 19 kids, and 6 adults (shh! We didn't tell the kids that they out-numbered the adults!)
It was a crazy, chaotic, "busy"time, and yet, it was very peaceful and rest for some weary souls. It is hard to describe the compatibility that all of our children share. We spent a week in a very big house, with all those kids. There was little to no arguing, and we had fun watching the kiddos pair/group up to play and have fun together. The older kids pitched in to help with cooking, cleanup and doing the mounds of laundry throughout the week. The grownups were even able to sneak away for an evening out because of the kindness of the "college"grad. and the teenagers. We shared some fabulous meals and lots of blessed fellowship. 
Father God,You blessed our weary hearts,minds and souls! We are so grateful for this time of fellowship, time of refreshment, and time of reflection. We were filled with wonder  at all your hands have made. We rested in the beauty of your creation and the magnificence of your beaches and mighty oceans. We stand in awe of your GLORY!
        The View Outside From the Beach House

                                                                  This is what the kids spent most of the week doing!
Nolan played his guitar for us from time to time!

The Mom's occassionally were able to spend some time on the beach, but...
 We spent a great deal of time in one specific room...trying to keep this crew fed...
 We were able to see the Blue Angels taking their test flights. It was fun and oh so very exciting for certain little boys in our group!
 This was the back of our very large beach house that was perfect for our very large crowd!
 Our clan with three of their cousins...
And then there is the whole crew...YEP, 20 Kids (Well 19 and a recent college graduate)
And Here is Our Crazy Crew...

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Forever And a Day

It has been forever and a day since I have posted anything! I have to confess... I love to blog. It seems to be good therapy and soothes my soul. As an added benefit, I can keep a recorded history of our family happenings. This is where the difficulty comes in...the family and those family happenings often prevent me from having the necessary time to blog. It is a vicious cycle of wanting to blog, needing to blog but never finding the time. So,  at this moment in time, I have managed to eek out a little time to play catchup with the happenings in our family. I have missed blogging and hope that I still have a few faithful followers out there.
Lets see...where did we leave off? ! I believe that my last brief post was on our anniversary. Our August continued to be filled with some wonderful family times. We were blessed with the ability to rent a beach house in Ft Morgan Alabama(very near Gulf Shores). It was hands down a wonderful vacation filled with lots of family fun and peacefulness. I will post a seperate post with lots of pictures. Following the vacation, we celebrated our little girls 8th birthday with a swim party. Then we had our annual start of school celebration and homeschool got underway. September brought the start of dance classes for our girlie-girls, and school was in full swing.October brought many doctor appointments and a difficult family change (more details in another post). We celebrated our "animal loving" boy's 11th birthday with a backyard extravaganza complete with a bonfire, smores, and a archery contest. We sent out October with a Fall Festival "Trunk or Treat"at our church. November came in like a lion with more schooling, more doctor appointments, and surgery on my elbow which put a kink in everyday happenings around here. We are looking forward to spending a quiet Thanksgiving with just our immediate family.
It continues to surprise me at how quickly a month can go by and even years as we watch our children grow. Life continues to bless us with all the goodness of a large family full of "busy-ness". Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined that God would grant all my hearts desires to be a wife and a momma to many!
Looking forward to updating you all in further post...stay tuned!